This blog post on the scale of opinion to fact probably ranks closer to opinion. But none the less it is an issue that ranks very close to my heart. I have led worship, I have done sound and lighting for worship. I play guitar, drums, and I have dabbled with the bass and a couple of other musical instruments. I have even written some songs on a local level with some minor success. Yet I can also read music and I have sung classical choral music, (which I still like from time to time). I like to refer to myself as a utility infielder when it comes to serving on a worship team. A generally average musician with the ability fit in where needed. Which brings me to my key word “average.”
It is of my opinion that modern charismatic church hates the average. We like to pretend to be something we are not when leading worship. Most worship releases, including live recordings, are filtered through sound editing equipment that can easily cost ten’s of thousands of dollars with each instrument and vocal on a separate channel being remixed. So much so that the final output does not even sound like the actual people singing or playing. It is as if God hates how he made us to actually to sound.
We love to say come as you are and you will be loved. But that is not true when it comes to most worship teams. Only the most talented people ever appear on worship songs and you are only considered anointed if you sell them to thousands of other believers.
This has impacted greatly the small and medium size churches. They all have very talented people, but they lack the “sophistication” of filtered worship in a can. So only the mega rock concert churches attract newbies to the faith, and wannabees who figure since they can not make it in the secular music scene, at least they will be famous in the lesser accepted Christian scene . . . (and no, I will not name names as the purpose of this blog is not to attack people but lovingly change thought and behavior).
Consider how Paul describes in his time what a typical church service resembled:
- 1 Corinthians 14:26 NASB – 26 What is [the outcome] then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
Try approaching the microphone in a 5000 member mega church to share a song that God has placed on your heart and see how close you actually get to the platform let alone the microphone. We have become such an entertainment based society that we filter out those we do not like to look at, or listen to whether it be musical style, or simply the sound of their voice because they are not “good enough.”
The unspoken theology is the more talent and equipment you have, the more God loves your worship.
I am reminded at this time of year at Christmas every time a small child gets up for the first time to sing Silent Night in front of a congregation for the first time. The hush and awe that fills the place can be overwhelming. No false bravado, no plastic surgery, no years of musical training, and not necessarily on key. Just a pure simple voice, an innocent heart, and the courage to beleive that God truly loves who they are as they are.
What was it that Jesus said?
- Luke 18:17 NASB – 17 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it [at all.]”
If only we embraced that more when it comes to worship.